Ceramic brake pads not holding up...


chollybennett
12-01-2010, 01:51 PM
In my '01 LSV8, I prefer to use ceramic brake pads, as they have always (until lately) lasted well and don't dust up my wheels. However, my last two sets on the front have gone belly-up after only a couple of months. Both these last sets have been AutoZone Duralast Gold. The problem is that the spring clips that buffer the pads from the tops of the calipers are becoming brittle and losing their spring (presumably from heat). A couple clips have even broken off completely. This leaves the pads to rattle around in the calipers. I have nearly new Wagner rotors, and they are machined correctly. AZ has made good on their warranty, and they say this failure is not a common one, but I'm inclined to suspect otherwise, and I don't like having to replace them at ridiculously short intervals, in-warranty or not. My next set, even though out of my pocket, will be a different brand. Anybody have any experience with this?

shorod
12-01-2010, 08:36 PM
I've use the Duralast Cmax ceramic pads with good results, including on my wife's 2002 LS. I had two sets of Wagner QuietMax (?) pads on her car and couldn't get them to not squeal at slow speeds, like pulling in to the garage. Autozone warrantied them, then refunded the price towards the set of Duralast Cmax pads which I actually had good luck with.

-Rod

old_master
12-01-2010, 09:26 PM
If all 4 pads on the front are wearing evenly, the premature wear/excessive heat is being caused by insufficient rear braking. Could be a restricted line, air trapped in the rear hydraulic system, a seized caliper piston, seized caliper hardware, could even be a problem with the master cylinder or ABS unit, but something is causing the rears to not do their fair share of the stopping.

If the front pad wear is uneven, either side to side, or the inboard or outboard pad is wearing quicker, here's the rule of thumb for diagnosing:

Inboard pad wears faster than outboard pad = seized or binding caliper piston.
Outboard pad wears faster than inboard pad = seized or binding caliper hardware.
Both pads on one side of the vehicle wear faster than the other = Restricted flex line or air in the line.

chollybennett
12-02-2010, 10:52 AM
If all 4 pads on the front are wearing evenly, the premature wear/excessive heat is being caused by insufficient rear braking. Could be a restricted line, air trapped in the rear hydraulic system, a seized caliper piston, seized caliper hardware, could even be a problem with the master cylinder or ABS unit, but something is causing the rears to not do their fair share of the stopping.
I hadn't thought about that... The rears got new pads and rotors about 11K ago, but I'll check them out right away. There is not really enough wear on the fronts to tell if it's even or not, but stops have been smooth, straight and quiet (until the clips give out). Thanks for the input, guys.

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